Proving that it is indeed possible to get privately funded grants – something bigger schools such as the University of South Carolina and Clemson seem to have forgotten – Presbyterian College received a $500,000 grant from the BB&T Foundation to study the moral and ethical foundations of capitalization.
“To be liberally educated, all students should have an interest in and understanding of economic systems, in particular market capitalism, since this is the economic system of the US,” said Jody Lipford, chair of the economics and business administration department and a professor of economics at PC. “Obviously, the current financial and economic crisis makes this study more relevant.”
The Clinton, SC, college will establish the BB&T Program for the Study of Capitalism with the grant. In addition to studying the foundations of capitalism, the program will also allow students to study how a capitalist economy works, The Greenville News reported.
BB&T’s grant will be awarded over 10 years to fund a team-taught course – Capitalism and its Foundations and Functions – that will be open to all students. It also will fund faculty research, guest lecturers and competitive stipends for student internships, the paper added.
“Now, more than ever, we believe there needs to be a deeper understanding of the morality of capitalism and its causal relationship to economic well-being,” said John Allison, the chairman of Winston-Salem, NC-based BB&T.
Allison is a well-known proponent of free market economics. He is also a noted fan of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, and has been vocal opponent of government meddling in the economy.